Singer/songwriter Alexander Joseph has a message for the athletes in the GB Para Table Tennis Team – ‘You’re Going to Win’.
The 33 year old, who combines his music career with his work as a strength and conditioning coach, was inspired to write a song for the team after visiting them at their training base at the EIS in Sheffield.
“The first thing that blew my mind away was the phenomenal speed it was played at and the athleticism and movement that were required,” said Alex. “I was there for the day and saw a couple of training sessions and I could see the commitment – there was a real focus and sense of professionalism around the place. They obviously love what they do and they were awesome. Everyone likes to have a knockabout in table tennis and the wheelchair tennis players who I work with now love to play but then I saw it done properly and it was a completely different level. The speed and accuracy were incredible to watch.”
Having started writing songs while at University, Alex found a real sense of direction when he started working with the women’s wheelchair basketball squad in 2013.
“I had taken a year out from working in sport because I wanted to take music more seriously,” he explained. “I signed with an Australian record label and was mentored by a fantastic friend and musician Terence Ryan, who helped me learn how to produce music and write better songs.
“When I started working with the women’s wheelchair basketball squad it was a really inspirational time for me. I hadn’t worked with Paralympic sport before and I learnt a lot about how you can still maximise someone’s physical capabilities. The athletes have overcome some really tough times and they are making the most of everything they can, representing their country, travelling the world – it is a cool environment. Now I am writing with real purpose about specific topics, which I think is so important in song writing. Paralympic sport is my passion and it is easy to be inspired by these sports. I’m now working with Resound Media, which is run by Andy Baker in Gloucestershire – they mentor musicians and help them with song writing and production.”
The women’s wheelchair basketball squad inspired his first Paralympic song – ‘GB365’ – and he has recently written a song for the ITF ‘A Racket in Hand’ to celebrate 40 years of wheelchair tennis. Alex donates all the profits from downloads of his songs to the sport – money from the downloads of ‘GB365’ go to Sports Traider, a charity that changes lives through sport, downloads of ‘A Racket in Hand’ will help the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Development Fund and money raised by ‘You’re Going to Win’ will go to the GB Para Table Tennis Team.
“The lyrics of the GB Para Table Tennis Team song were inspired by the values board that was up in the training hall in Sheffield,” said Alex. “Looking through some of the key words in there got me thinking. Any athlete trying to achieve their goal needs to have self-belief that they can do it so the title is ‘You’re Going to Win’ because if you don’t tell yourself that and you don’t believe you stand a chance of doing that you’re probably not going to do it.
“So I wanted to put a song out there that reflects the belief and the values that the guys have but also encourages them when there is any moment of doubt to keep remembering that self-belief is key. ‘Trust in all the work you have done’ is the first line and that is about the training over the last four years and everything you have done – all those tough days. They all count and they accumulate and hopefully come through at the right time – in Rio.”
To download ‘You’re Going to Win’ go to: www.itunes.com/alexanderjoseph
You can find out more about Alexander Joseph at http://www.ajosephmusic.com/